Experiencing Road Trips The Way They Were Meant To Be Felt - The Viking Abroad
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Experiencing Road Trips The Way They Were Meant To Be Felt

01 Mar Experiencing Road Trips The Way They Were Meant To Be Felt

The road trip might not be quite as popular as the package holiday or the city break, but if you want the feeling of freedom, exploration, and the chance to experience some of the best roads in the world, there’s no better way to do it. But there are a lot of ways you can bog that feeling down. Too rigid a schedule, too rickety a rental car, too stressful an inner-car environment. They can get in the way of having the experience of voyaging down the open road as you should be. So, how do you get back to road trips the way they were meant to be experienced?

Pic by dfsym

With the best roads in the world

The real appeal of the road trip is two-fold. We’ll get to the other most important part of the trip in a moment, but the first that we’re going to explore is the route that you take. Not all road trip routes are created equal. Most journeys can give you plenty of fun stops along the way but to really get the most out of it, you have to be able to actually enjoy the ride as well. From Bergen to Trondheim is one of the best road trips in Europe, for instance, not just because of the stops along the way but because of the racing slopes, the curves between gorgeous Alpine mountains, the chance to go through the longest road tunnel in the continent, and so on. Think about now just what’s on the road, but the road itself.

With the car you love

As for the other main factor in the appeal of the road trip, most people don’t realize how much impact the vehicle itself has on it. This is mostly for those who love driving and cars, of course. If you have a car you love the feel of, you don’t want to spoil the road trip by getting in a vehicle that you don’t know, that doesn’t have the power or the comfort. You can start all your road trips from home, in future, so that you can only take those using your favorite wheels. Or you can look into ferry transport for your vehicle or even chartering a CONVAIR CV-580 cargo plane specifically suited for transporting cars. If the feeling of the drive is one of the big motivating factors in choosing a road trip, make sure you’re actually getting the drive you want out of it.

With as little distraction as possible

If it’s a family road trip, then some distraction is to be expected. You might not be able to go “all out” as you might otherwise, but that doesn’t mean you should subject yourself to a war happening in the back seats. Make sure you prepare plenty of entertainment for the kids and give the older kids/other adults roles to fulfil in the car. Someone can be in charge of navigation and finding potential stops and sights to see, someone can be in charge of music, and so on. Keep everyone busy so you can focus on driving. If you’re swapping drivers every so often, stay aware of the importance of focus for the driver and find your own distraction if need be.

Pic by StockSnap

Without disaster

When you’re going out on a road trip, don’t let an automotive disaster cut it short. If you’re using a rental car, you can rest assured they are bound to be well-cared for. Otherwise, have your car go through a full service, replace any spark plugs/filters/brake pads that need to be replaced and so on. Make sure that amongst what you pack, there’s room for the emergency kit. Keep a list of numbers for breakdown services and garages in the areas you’re driving through, too, in case you do end up breaking down against all odds.

With a little more bang for your buck

When you’re taking a road trip, you still need to budget your costs. You may save on flights, accommodation, and such, but those fuel expenses can add up. The best way to deal with them is to make sure you’re getting the bonuses, discounts, and rewards that a fuel card can offer. You can guarantee you’re driving enough to earn some of the rewards that can offer a little more value per gallon, so it’s worth taking advantage of.

With memories you’ll keep forever

Your road trip is the chance to have the kind of vacation you might never have enjoyed before. The journey with loved ones, the chance to see a whole range of diverse landscapes, the attractions and curiosities you find along the way. Even the little moments that happen within the group or perfect strangers can create some powerful memories. The best way to get the most out of them is to ensure that you’re capturing them. Make sure you take a digital camera with you and empty the storage before so you can take some awesome road trip pictures. Once you get back, set up a slideshow and enjoy retelling the stories and remembering the little moments that might otherwise get lost in the haze of time.

Pic by ErikaWittleib

Just the right amount of planning

Some planning is necessary. You don’t want to get lost, as in truly lost, not the romantic sense of getting lost in an adventure. You don’t want to go a day without any gas or food stops in sight. But you don’t want to be stuck with a rigid schedule as well. Plan your route in advance and do plan your essential stops for food/gas/places to sleep and so on. But keep those plans loose. Don’t create an itinerary of places you must absolutely see, but keep a wish list of places you might like to go if something better doesn’t pop up. Prepare, but stay flexible.

Road trips aren’t for everyone, but if you want the best possible chance of feeling the appeal that so many experience with them, then the tips above can help you get back to what we really love about them.


  • Perri
    Posted at 14:03h, 12 March Reply

    Some really great advice here! I don’t normally enjoy driving but would love to do a road trip down the coast of Spain one day. I think breaking the journey down and sharing the drive with someone will help. It would be definitely be worth it for the amazing views from the road!

  • Rhonda Albom
    Posted at 23:33h, 12 March Reply

    I think my favourite holidays involve a road trip. I like being able to go where I want to when I want to. If I had not done a road trip through the Atlas mountains in Morocco, I would have missed so much. I think it’s the ability to be flexible that really makes a road trip stand out.

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    Posted at 09:20h, 13 March Reply

    There is nothing to beat road trips when it comes to an immersive travel experience. We love the fact that road trips spell ultimate freedom. One can stop at will and change routes based on our own whims and fancies. They also provide an opportunity to get really close to the places you are passing through.

  • candy
    Posted at 14:06h, 13 March Reply

    We love road trips and would love to take one in Europe someday. We’ve done road trips in the US and Iceland, but Europe sounds like there is so much to explore. Especially that longest tunnel!

  • Stella Jane
    Posted at 21:49h, 13 March Reply

    This sounds like so much fun! I have actually never been on a road trip because I can’t drive. But I like your advice to find the right car. In my fantasies I am always driving a vintage light blue convertible on Route 66. Maybe some day I will learn to drive and do it myself.

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